UKRISS – Reporting and Exchange of Research Information

One of the sessions I attended at the UK Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association Corporate Information Systems Group Conference (UCISA-CISG) was from Simon Waddington of King’s College London who is leading the UKRISS project

The session gave an update on the project to date so please note that the actual recommendations may vary from what was said at the session. There are a number of decisions to be made around the ‘who’ and ‘how’ to take the project outcomes forward.

I understood that the project is examining ways to better standardise sharing of information across a wide range of stakeholders for example by defining a standard set of data that will cover all of the requirements of the various funders and government bodies as well as other needs to reduced the burden of reporting.

The HESA Information Landscape Report (2012) noted that similar information is requested from different bodies and it was suggested that a standard approach can’t be imposed but could perhaps be agreed to by collaboration.

The project is due to end in June 2013  and a feasibility study is expected to be released in Jan 2013.

Partners include the British Library and EuroCRIS.

The team have particularly looked at sharing information about projects, outputs, and facilities.

The team have reviewed information from various projects and initiatives including –  CERIF, CASRAI, IRIOS (linking grants to output), RMAS (which has produced a CERIF connector)  CERIF in Action use cases of exchanging data between HEI’s and providing data to the RCUK Research Outcomes System, MICE, DESCRIBE, Readiness for REF and BRUCE (Apologies – including links willl make this post very long – these are easy to find on Google if you need more info on the individual projects)

The team have spoken to 41 people (10 reps from HEI’s) and have come up with 231 requirements at this stage.  It will be interesting to find out who they spoke to as I am sure there are many others out there with useful information and views on this and I expect that further consultation and linking up of ideas can be done over the coming months.

The draft findings are common to other initiatives we have been involved in:

  •  Further harmonisation of definitions required in CERIF.
  •  Agreement on reporting requirements from key stakeholders would be helpful.
  •  A maximum HEI CERIF profile was suggested – representing everything required in CERIF to facilitate data exchange.
  •  Adopt international initiatives – ORCID, CrossRef (DOI for publications), FundRef (funder reference or publications
  • Don’t build a new national system but make existing systems work together better – common API’s, connectors etc.

The final report will go to JISC and from there hopefully some actions and actionees will be agreed – but that is all yet to be decided and joined up with the various initiatives that are working in these areas.

Simon also mentioned the Czech system that takes feeds from institutional systems into a central system.